Jobs - Not Hiring??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hags888, May 8, 2007.

  1. 6pk

    6pk New Friend

    Mar 9, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I can only really talk about Orch applications, but below is my $0.02

    There are always lots of factors involved and no recruiting system is fool proof or completely fair. With the US system, which does seems to be one of the fairest, the only floor I would say is because the day of auditions is fixed, many players that are either in jobs, or busy freelancers/professors, that the Orch would want to show up, simply won't be available.
    So you could be the best player there on that day, and the panel is thinking, "yeah but if so and so had shown he'd have been way better". Often its better if all the "big guns" show up, then it makes the winner more credible and they know they've explored most of their options so will feel happier about making a final decision.
    In the UK, in order to hear everyone, Orchestras will sometimes give someone an alternatively date that is convenient for you, LSO and RPO have done this for me in the past. I have experienced though that many of the smaller Orchs can be less flexible. Then of course they trial anything up to 20 people, which can take a very long time. Which is fairer? Who knows?
    It does seem though that with both systems, it drags on, either with lots of trials, or auditions.
    I heard about the latest round of auds for the NYPO Bass Trombone position, which the HKPOs Paul Pollard was running up. I have to say that sounded like a very thorough and fair procedure, and they did hire someone.
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  2. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Wow...I'm grateful for the big response here. Most of what I'm reading, unfortunately, I've read before. The line that really irks me is "Why should they hire someone who doesn't fit into their vision of how their institution or orchestra works or sounds?" To me this is a cop-out answer for someone who either a)really doesn't know what they want in the first place, or b)what they want is impossible or beyond their reach (aka, po-dunkville college hiring Maurice Andre). Manny made one comment that hinted at something I figured (and sort of hoped) I'd see more of in the responses, and that was "Their list was a list for an orchestra 10 times the budget. Downright ridiculous."

    So, what I have I done to "get the gig"? Well, at this stage in the game, my career path is to become a college teaching professor with pipedreams of landing in a full-time orchestra gig (sound familiar?). Here's what I've done to "separate myself" from the pack of a million other DMA, legit trumpet players:

    1. Music Ed degree in undergrad, jazz studies minor; privately teach trumpet in several public schools in the Twin Cities (so I can teach music ed majors about brass methods and secondary school teaching)
    2. Secondary instrument in Masters degree: cornetto (this gives me a "niche" instrument and allows me to do something unique that not many others are doing)
    3. Secondary area in Doctorate: Music Theory (this will give me a better chance at landing that "first" gig at a small school that requires their music faculty to do more than just "teach trumpet").
    4. Performance Experience: I take everything I can get in the Twin Cities freelance market: jazz/big band, orchestral, early music, new music, chamber music, brass quintet, etc (ideally I need to work better at this and network, which doesn't come easily to me)

    So, I have really taken the "diversify" advice to heart as I've been told that from just about every professor I've had since I entered college 10 years ago. I honestly feel as though I'm capable of performing at a professional level in all areas (with the possible exception of real high quality jazz improv), and I have assistantship-quality college teaching experience in trumpet lessons, early music performance practice and music theory. So, whenever I see a job description, you can bet I highlight the areas of my experience that match their job description (rather than simply listing everything I've done). What is the one thing that I lack though? REAL experience. I've never had a full-time college teaching job, or performing gig. I feel as though I'm caught in a Catch-22 situation. No one wants to hire somebody without any "real" experience...they only want experienced applicants. But you can't get a job unless you have's a vicious cycle.

    So, anyway, I'll just keep plowing ahead, spending time in the practice room and hope for the best at this point. I'm still young (27) with a lot of room to grow and improve. But, you better believe it, if I make it to the finals in any job interview/audition and it comes down to either hiring me or doing another search...I'll be pretty upset if the committee elects to do another search. Wouldn't everyone? That's sort of the point I'm trying to make here. With a market that is as competitive and over-saturated as the music business is, how any college or orchestra seriously justify not hiring anyone because none of the applicants were "what they were looking for". Who are they looking for? Is the small college with 100 music majors and 10 full-time music faculty seriously expecting someone like Manny to throw his application into the ring?

    *still frustrated*
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I went to a podunk music school that had 20 trumpet majors. Why? We had a great trumpet professor, and he recruited and networked and published.

    Networking is not playing politics or selling yourself, but getting to know folks. It's joining a support group of fellow musicians/scholars.

    Recruiting is not playing politics or selling yourself, but getting to know folks. It's a way of adding people to your network.

    In my stint as an AFM business agent I often heard the line from bands I had recruited: "I hate the union, but you guys are ok." Networking with Rock musicians and listening to their tips on set design theories helped design brass quintet programs.

    Tricks and tips learned through networking are what allow us to get 20 years of experience in a couple of years time.

    Publishing can be anything from a self-produced cd to submitting articles to ITG Junior. It shows initiative and production.

    Getting a job in an orchestra is tough, and I honestly lucked into mine, and during my stint as a section player I learned it's all about making the principal and the section and the orchestra sound good. As a college instructor it was all about making the college look good.

    Network. Get to know the people you work with. Learn to feed them even as you are getting fed from them. It may not get you your dream job, but it will get you adopted into the musical community in a way that degrees can't buy. It's working for and in this community that matters -- that's where the jobs really are.
    I think.
  4. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Vulgano, thanks for the reply. As "introverted" as I really am, I think you've probably hit on the one thing that might make a difference for me personally...networking (and yes, I am already aware that I suck at it). I really am looking forward to having some time off after finals week. In exactly 4 days, I will be "ABD" and I hope that the added free time will give me a chance to get to know even more musicians in the Twin Cities. And by the way, I love your Mckenzie Brothers quote. ;)
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Yeah, I hate "networking" too, because it is used as a "technique" by all those frat boy future MBA's that will later make token donations to orchestras and think they know how to run them. Getting to know folks is a lot less stressful, and more fun. Just remember that they are as scared of you as you are of them, even the jerks.
  6. ptynan

    ptynan Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antigonish, NS
    When I was applying for University jobs....I sent out (what felt like) 9 million applications. I got three interviews and two offers. I did not care where I have to live to make this happen.

    It was like fishing....You need the right bait. For me it was winning a high publicity award (Down Beat award best college soloist, and small jazz group) and the University teach at loved that.

    Man, I wish you good luck,....I have buddies still looking for gigs and a few who have to move every year because they are on the "Sabbatical Circuit".

    Manny and Pat are right: lots of people are looking for work. A friend who is the director of a jazz program in CA, said there were 245 applications for a recent position. Some with DMAs/Phds some with Masters only. For him it went back to the two rules:

    1. Be cool
    2. Have your Sh*t together (in a big way)
  7. Taylor

    Taylor New Friend

    Nov 12, 2003
    Have you considered that some of this might just be down to not enough (Joe Public) people will buy tickets to go to the gigs in the first place? Doesnt matter how many musicians, and how good. If bums aren't on seats then no one gets paid.... No ticket money to pay out from.... Budget cuts.... Soon enough, no band, no orchestra.... Its tough, but what can you do?

    Andy T.
  8. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005

    Give me a call sometime and we'll go out to Town Hall and do some "networking." I garauntee that will make you feel better.

  9. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    the thing i've learned from studying with different pro's is what manny and pat have said...

    1. you have to have a very high level of skill..

    2. you have to be versatile.

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